The only thing worse than not being able to think of a perfect comeback in the moment is when you know exactly what you want to say but don’t. With generations of women being taught to be seen and not heard, it’s easy to fall into silence even when you have something valid to say. Part of self-care is recognizing that what’s within you is of value, and that includes your words. It may take practice to get out what you want to say, but don’t let that stop you. Sometimes I have to rehearse so that the words are really mine and I believe them. Your words are important. Don’t let them go unspoken.
Sometimes self-care can feel like self-indulgence. But it doesn’t have to be! Anytime I’m struggling in my practice or questioning why it’s important, I remind myself that I am connected to a higher power and a greater good. When I remember that the causes I’m fighting for are far bigger than me but that I am still an integral part of the fight, I am strengthened. It’s a great reminder that you must take care of yourself so you can be at your best for the collective.
In my recent podcast with the fabulous Damone Roberts, we talked about the power of manifestation.
We all have personal and professional goals, plenty of new project ideas, and dreams that seem larger than life. One technique that helps to bring my ideas to fruition is to create a vision board. Vision boards can bring clarity to your intentions by helping you hone in on what you want to create.
Everyone’s process is different – here’s what I do to get ready to cut and paste my dreams into reality!
- Get in the Right Head Space
I usually make a vision board when I’m at a starting point – like around the New Year and on my birthday; it helps me get aligned with a new goal or a way to celebrate a trip around the sun.
I try to stay positive when I sit down to create because it is with that frame of mind that I will bring my dreams into focus.
- Gather The Materials That You Love!
There are no rules about what you make your vision board with. If you are an artist who likes to paint it out – do it! I am a writer – so I love to cut out words from magazines or doodle my own. My husband loves to make 3-D vision boards by putting pieces of twine, cloth or fabric together to bring his vision to life.
- Let Yourself Enjoy The Journey
Vision boards aren’t always completed works of art. They can be a great exercise to understand a true value you hold or a desire that needs to be surfaced. Don’t judge (“Oh, I couldn’t possibly manifest that!”) Instead – learn from what comes forth while you create.
- Place It Where You See it Often!
In the daily hustle of life, it’s important to remind ourselves of our inner visions. Our big dreams and small goals. So put this vision board where you can see it. I put mine in my office (above the computer) or in my closet, (where I see it while I’m getting dressed) this way I am surrounded by the vision I am bringing into form.
Even when we love what we do, we can still feel jaded, weighed down, or in a rut.
When I’m feeling like this — a bit burnt-out that the day-to-day tasks at hand, I know just what I need to do… I need to create something.
Creativity helps me to engage with the extraordinary things that lie in the midst of this ordinary day-to-day world.
By creating something — anything (a blog post, a journal entry, a vision board, a great chopped salad (no, seriously) I can tap into methods of self-expression that I often put on the backburner when answering emails and returning missed phone calls.
When I can generate something completely original, something beautifully and inherently unique to myself, I feel vulnerable and challenged and find that it’s an incredible way to push myself to grow.
True friendships offer a wonderful reflection of ideal self-care — you have someone by your side that treats you in a way you often don’t treat yourself — with reverence, respect, and the right dose of silly.
Wouldn’t it be incredible to show ourselves that same type of love?
Is it possible to see ourselves through fresher, kinder eyes and ditch the critical in favor of the compassionate? I think so.
Here are six ways to become your own best friend:
1. Take time for TLC. When we get busy, we drop off our own to-do lists. We stop taking care of crucial things like rest, nutrition, and soulful exchange. Don’t skimp on the self-love, instead make a date with nurturing yourself like you would schedule a catch up with a friend. It’s that important.
2. Feel everything. One of the best parts of friendship is that you have someone who validates everything you feel (yep, even the crazy stuff). So remember to do the same and allow yourself to feel a full range of feelings. Put away the judgment and trust that your emotions are healthy, and even the painful feelings will eventually pass.
3. Ask: “Do you need help with anything?” How many times have you said that to a friend?! Check in and ask yourself the same thing and then seek out the people who can help you. One of the bravest acts of self-love we can practice is knowing when to ask for assistance.
4. Learn to trust yourself. The trust within friendships is built over time through experience, the same can be said of trusting ourselves. Learn to root for you. Learn to believe that you have what it takes to be loyal, loving, and kind to yourself. Building that self-trust will guide you through decisions and dilemmas with confidence.
5. Celebrate victories. We LOVE to celebrate our friends when they have moments of success. So make sure you do the same for yourself! Acknowledging what is worth celebrating in your life is not only healthy my necessary. It builds up a reservoir of good experiences to enjoy. And life is sweeter when we can enjoy those moments with the people we love.
6. Continue to Learn About Yourself. All friendships grow stronger as we learn more about the other person. That is the foundational element of real friendship — a growing together through things. While getting to know our friends deeply can highlight some of the not-so-great aspects of them, we choose to appreciate them for all of the brilliant ways they add to our lives, instead of honing in their imperfections. In learning about yourself, focus on celebrating who you are, rather than bemoaning who you aren’t.
One common question I’m asked: How can I be confident without being arrogant?
I love this question. I usually tell people it’s OK to know your own strengths (even more OK to own them!) And it doesn’t help anyone when we deflect compliments and play small in the world.
But it makes sense that human nature is to feel a desire to be liked. To be loved. To be admired. And we sometimes worry that if we’re too confident that might push someone away.
The truth is, true confidence doesn’t have to be bragged about. The real different between confidence and arrogance is all about the intention behind it. Confident people live their lives – confidently. They don’t need to “in your face it” with dropping names, putting others down or overly boasting about anything. Confident people live it because they feel it. They don’t need to prove it.
I find bragging (and trust me, I’ve done my fair share) comes from when we feel insecure, uncertain and unworthy. So check your intention next time you think you may be spouting off too much of your own awesomeness. And know that your confidence isn’t just heard but seen, felt, and witnessed. Just by being you.
Still not sure if you have confidence or arrogance? Think about:
You may have heard me talk about your “esteem team” before.
I think it’s important to know very specifically who has your back at all times.
The one you ugly cry with.
The ones who see you at your worst and know you at your best.
The one you call to the move the body.
Consider it my new definition of #squad goals – but you really only need one special person on your esteem team.
And I can’t emphasize enough how important it is on your journey to self-discovery. It’s been a crucial component on my own path, too.
So how do you know who’s on your team?
Your “esteem team” are the ones who allow you to grow, and who encourage it, actually.
But we may not always be surrounded by those people.
Especially when we’re younger, it can feel like having a bunch of friends is important. But the truth is – especially when it comes to friendship – quality goes much further than quantity.
Sometimes when we realize we are friends with people who are stumping our growth it’s hard to think about letting them go.
But trust me when I tell you – and you can borrow my 15 years of hard friendship lessons learned – you need to say goodbye to someone who can’t stand fully by your side.
How do you know when you’re in a toxic friendship?
Here are a few questions you can ask yourself:
When you are with this person do you feel more empowered or more discouraged?
Are your thoughts and ideas valued and listened to?
Do you feel comfortable being yourself around this person?
If you can’t be your true, authentic self when you’re with this friend, it may be time to have a conversation about this. I know – it’s scary, but a true friend can handle a moment of discomfort and honesty. It can be awkward but real friendships survive.
What happens if you have that convo and nothing changes?
Maybe it’s time to move on.
So now what?
Ending a toxic friendship doesn’t have to be dramatic. We can start by making a conscious effort to limit the amount of time we spend with that person. We can focus on the friends who ARE positive and gravitate toward them.
But it doesn’t end there. It’s also important to take a look inside yourself in the process, and ask:
Why am I continually choosing friends like this?
How can I prevent this from happening again?
When we want to make a change in our lives, we have to take initiative.
There’s no doubt in my mind that you’re capable of it. We all are.
We have to make sure we’re learning from our experiences. When you go through difficult patches, remember to think about what you can take away from them. How can it help you better yourself? How can it help you get back on track to where you want to be?
It isn’t always easy, but it IS possible and worth it!